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It took Frank Sinatra eight weeks to learn the dance routine for the barracks scene. Ultimately it took 72 takes to get the right footage, though this was probably more down to Gene Kelly's meticulous need for perfection rather than Sinatra's inexperience as a dancer. Sinatra later said that he could have made an entire film in eight weeks. See more »
During the opening sequence the Navy band is supposed to be standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier. As the camera pulls back it is obvious that most of the deck is simply painted on and that the "deck" ends about twenty feet in front of the band. See more »
On behalf of your commanding officer I'm sure I can tell Mr. Jose Iturbi that the officers and crew of ship are grateful to him for coming here, to lead our naval bands in this ceremony.
Along with every other civilian, it is I who am grateful to you, and to all the men in the United States navy.
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Overall this is a delightful, light-hearted, romantic, musical comedy. I suppose a small case could be made for the movie being to long. But I'm not sure what you would cut out. The singing that Kelly and Sinatra do? No. The fabulous dancing that Kelly does? No. The time the movie takes to develop the story line and develop the relationships of the characters? No (that seems to be a common complaint many times that more recent movies don't develop the characters).
Some comment that Iturbi didn't bring much to the movie but this gives us a chance to see and hear a great talent from the 1040s. So what if he wasn't an actor? He was an important part of the movie as the basic plot was to get Grayson an audition with him.
Originally Katherine Grayson wanted to be an opera star. Louis B. Mayer brought her to MGM for a screen test that included an aria. During her audition in the movie there is a shot of the MGM brass nodding and smiling. You can just imagine it was like that when she had made her real screen test years before.
This movie is so full of life it is hard to hit all of the highlights. Great use was made of color and lighting throughout the movie. You can see why Frank Sinatra became the star he did. A nice counter-point in the movie is how Sinatra (a ladies man even then) played the role of wanting to just find a date while on leave. You'll feel good after seeing this movie. 7/10
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